The Lach-Ness

March 27, 2011
For as long as time will allow, there has been a creature feasting in the murky depths of the local bodies of water and slowly torturing those on land. For thousands of years this creature takes the form of another, one who looks much less like a goddess and more like a troll, and torments the innocent and guilty in the classrooms and hallways of local institutions of higher learning, and the cause of thousands of missing people throughout those years. This creature has yet to be discovered by men of science, but to those who hold on dearly to the legends of the Earth, like my folks, they know the creature as, Missticus ferose Lachness, the ferocious Miss Lach. My parents would tell me the story before bed, so I would stop acting mischievous, like most parents do. According to the legend, there was only one thing that could vanquish Missticus ferose Lachness, a brave warrior of kind and humble nature, the Randicus Campbellmor.

It was a bright and warm morning in mid-May. One could float on the accumulated thick and creamy current of content emitted by the happy and excited students of Witherby High School. The school year was coming to an end; teachers assigned less work to their students, who enjoyed taking time to socialize and plan summer events like parties, sleepovers, bonfires, etc. All the teachers spent their time either lounging with students or packing for the summer, all the teachers except one, Ms. Lach.

“C’mon Ms. Lach its summer time,” Johnny complained as Ms. Lach issued another creative writing assignment.

“Hahaaa, no it is not,” Ms. Lach corrected, “summer officially begins June 21st.”

“Ugh, you know what I mean Ms. Lach,” sighed Johnny.

“Well, too bad the school year doesn’t end for another two weeks,” argued Ms. Lach.

“Yeah, but all the other teachers haven’t assigned anything for a while,” said Johnny and was accompanied by a murmur of agreement from his classmates.

“Are you comparing me to those incompetent baboons?” questioned Ms. Lach.

Johnny gave a smirk, “Yes, yes I am.” The class uttered a low and drawn out “oooooooooo.”

Ms. Lach lowered her face, casting a shadow over her eyes, glaring at Johnny, her teeth seemed to grow pointed, razor-sharp like her nails. No words were required; the classroom grew icy cold as it did silent. Each of the students were aware of the death sentence Johnny just signed, the only thing Johnny could do was gulp involuntarily.

Ms. Lach shifted her gaze to the quiet kid in the corner of the room, Randy Campbell, that’s me.

“Randy, I expect great things from you,” she grinned.

I nodded silently, and then returned my attention to the table-top. She knows I’m the best writer in the class, she had better expect greatness. My parents have always told me I would do something great one day, but whose parents haven’t said that to their children before?

Ms. Lach looked up at the clock, it read 9:55.

“Rough drafts better be in my hot, little hands at the beginning of class tomorrow, you are dismissed,” declared Ms. Lach, as everyone scampered to leave the classroom, Ms. Lach called out, “Johnny!”

I looked back, Johnny was about to step out of the door when he froze dead in his tracks, “Yes Ms. Lach?” he whimpered.

“You will have the pleasure of spending an hour after school with me today, kapeesh?”

Johnny’s gaze and last strand of hope both plummeted to the floor, “Yes Ms. Lach,” he replied as he slumped into the busy halls of Witherby High, unaware of the danger he put himself into.

The final bell rang, signifying the end of the school day with its droning, monotone chime. Cheers drowned out the bell as students barreled into the halls and out of the doors. Once the buses were gone, the students left campus in their cars, and the hallways were bare, one could hear the pitter-patter of Johnny’s shoes as he made his way to Ms. Lach’s room, procrastinating to make each step. I don’t live far from the school, so I usually wait for everyone to leave campus before I make my way. I noticed Johnny sluggishly crawling to Ms. Lach’s room, and I had the strangest urge to follow him, so I did.

Once he arrived at Ms. Lach’s room, he discovered it was empty. “Where could she be?” I thought to myself. Johnny looked tempted to make a break for the exit, but decided to use the restroom instead; as he turned around he realized he no longer needed to go anymore. Standing two feet behind him was the infamous Ms. Lach, who looked more villainous than usual, with a red liquid dripping from the corner of her lips. I crammed myself behind a corner and watched silently to see what would happen next.

“Uh, where were you Ms. Lach?” asked Johnny, sweat boiling to the surface of his forehead.

“Oh, helping James Thorton with the wrestling mats,” said Ms. Lach.

“Aren’t you a little old to be moving wrestling mats?”

Ms. Lach chuckled, “Don’t underestimate my strength Johnny.”

“Uh, Ms. Lach…” Johnny mumbled, pointing to the corner of his mouth as he stared at Ms. Lach’s.

“What?” she quacked, and then she licked the corner of her lips clean.

“What was tha-,” began Johnny.

“Ketchup, I stole a sandwich from James while he wasn’t looking,” she admitted, “shhhhh.”

Johnny shook his head as he tried to think of a type of sandwich that required ketchup. “What’s the damage for today Ms. Lach?” asked Johnny.

“You, my fine young lad, get to clean the pond by my house today, yay,” Ms. Lach cheered sarcastically, jumping up and down.

“What,” yelled Johnny, “that’ll take forever!”

“Not necessarily, I’ve seen it done in an hour,” said Ms. Lach.

“By who?”

“My husband.”

“Psh, he has the tools to do that in an hour,” complained Johnny.

“Then you better call home and tell Mom or Dad you’ll be late.”

“Nah, Mom’s at work and Dad’s outta state.”

“Well then, the only advice I can give ya, is to get crackin,” chuckled Ms. Lach.

Johnny followed Ms. Lach out to her house about half a mile down a trail that began at the trees at the back end of the school; I managed to trail behind them without being noticed, by footsteps as silent as Death’s. The trail weaved to and fro like a snake on the forest floor. Johnny continuously sighed on the way to the witch’s lair, dragging his footsteps through the dust.

Upon arriving at Ms. Lach’s house, Johnny asked, “why don’t you just get your husband to clean it again?”

“Because he is outta town right now, and what better punishment than manual labor?” snapped Ms. Lach.

Johnny rolled his eyes as Ms. Lach led him to the pond. I stuck to concealing my image behind thick, dense tree trunks. “Why am I even here,” I asked myself, “I have a paper to start writing.” My parents believed in the legends of the Earth, and how the Earth has a spirit of its own that influences our lives. I think it is the Earth’s spirit that urged me to follow Ms. Lach and Johnny, but I don’t know why. Johnny just stood at the bank of the pond, waiting as Ms. Lach retrieved to tools for cleaning the pond. The pond was immense, almost too big for a pond. It looked more like a small lake, but according to Ms Lach it’s a pond, and it’s not wise to argue Ms. Lach.

Ms. Lach returned with one of those pool cleaning polls with a screen at the end, a lawn chair, and a beverage.

“You’re gonna sit there and watch me clean your big-a** pond?” shouted Johnny, outraged by her intentions.

“Uhhhh, yes!” exclaimed Ms. Lach, a massive, glinting grin smacked across her face.

“She really is evil,” I thought to myself, a cold chill seemed to crawl down my spine as I snapped up. It’s the middle of May and I got a cold chill? Interesting.

It took an hour for Johnny to make two complete sweeps around the pond. After the second trip around, Ms. Lach brought Johnny a bottle of water. Just as I was about to take back my comment to myself about how evil she was, she pushed Johnny into the pond! Johnny cried out as he crashed through the water’s surface, Ms. Lach drew her head back and laughed maniacally, her face and teeth growing long and sharp. Her neck grew away from her body, and her limbs into what looked like flippers. She grew 35-feet from tail to tooth, every inch of her new body covered in slimy scales. After she grew completely, she gave one last wail to the sky before diving into the pond. The cold tendrils of fear and terror gripped my brain and spine tightly in their boney grasps as a stood in place, eyes wide, jaw dropped at what I just witnessed. Ms. Lach is the Missticus ferose Lachness. Out of full-blown terror, I sprinted back to the school, rested a moment to catch my breath, and continued home. Once home, I skipped dinner and any questions my parents had, and made a B-line for my room. I spent the rest of the night typing my short story in hopes to avoid the epic and eternal wrath of the Missticus ferose Lachness.

The next morning broke through the horizon too quickly. I wish the rest of the morning leading up the third period was slower too. I felt nauseous walking in and sitting by myself at my table. My palms were sweaty, knees weak, arms were heavy, lip quivering I was so scared, so nervous, so petrified. Ms. Lach was taking attendance when Susan asked aloud, “hey, where’s Johnny?”

Ms. Lach, or is it Missticus ferose Lachness- I really don’t know what to call her now- grinned to herself before addressing the class.

“Johnny’s mother called him in, he was sick all last night, she said it must have been something he ate,” she lied.

“More like someone you ate,” I thought to myself.

“Alright,” said the creature, “what needs to be in my hot little hands?” she asked, hands held out in front of her, palms facing the ceiling.

Five students-including myself- out of thirteen rose from their seats to deliver their short stories to Ms. Lach. Her face was grave, like a stone-cold tombstone, unsatisfied with the five stories. She casually waltz to her desk and smashed the papers on the face of it. She swiftly turned 180 degrees to face the class, eyes yellow with animosity.

“Why do I not have thirteen short stories? Hmm?” asked Ms. Lach.

Excuses flew left and right: “My printer’s outta ink”, “I forgot mine at home”, “I sent it to you”, et cetera.

“I. Am. Going. To FAIL every last one of you!” screamed Ms. Lach.

Just then, as I gazed upon every saddened face, the Spirit of the Earth called upon me to protest Ms. Lach, I think it was the second sentence I have said in that class all semester.

“Ms. Lach cut ‘em some slack, it’s the end of the year,” I said calmly.

A low rumble emitted deep from within Ms. Lach’s throat as she slowly faced me, eyes trained on me, set to kill. She tilted her head back to wail as she did at her pond yesterday, initiating her transformation. Her body began to pulse this time as she transformed, radiating with immense power. I became enraged with the beast’s challenge, and soon I too began to throb and grow with power. My hair grew full and thick. My jaw more defined and chiseled. The hair on my body grew and thickened a bit more, and my muscle tone and mass grew ten-fold. It was then that I realized who I really was and why the Spirit of the Earth called upon me to protest Ms. Lach. I am Randicus Campbellmor, ancient and divine warrior of the Earthly Legends. Every student in the classroom either fainted or watched helplessly at the upcoming battle. Ms. Lach and I broke through the ceiling tiles as we grew. To make room, we each brought on of the walls of the classroom crumbling to the floor. We were going to need a lot of room, looks like the whole school was going to be our battlefield. Teachers and students were screaming and fleeing the campus to escape the scene.

The Lach, as I dubbed her with my impromptu skills, was the first to snap at my face, nicking my cheeks and neck as I looked away to avoid maximum damage. When she snapped at my stomach, I pivoted backwards and jabbed at the right side of her snout. She yelped in pain and grew angrier. She began to quicken her paces of snaps, catching my face and torso more often than not. I was beginning to weaken and dropped to one knee. All seemed lost as she drew her head back for the finishing blow. I mustered up as much of my power as I could and anticipated where she would strike me, right-square in the face. She gave one last deep chuckle before propelling her snout, littered with razor-sharp teeth, at my face.

I winced and wondered what the world would be like now that I was unable to defeat the beast. “Would the Spirit of the Earth conjure another hero to be born until the creature was slain?” I wondered as I felt Death creep closer and closer. As soon as I felt the gentle breath, exhaled from the beast’s mouth, I parried backwards, latched on to the Lach’s long and narrow throat, turned around and used all my power and momentum to hurl the beast crashing into the East Café. I firmly walked over to injured monster absorbing its power from the air around me. I smirked, and lift the creature by its jowls until its head was between my palms and at level with my chest. I firmly grasped both her top and bottom jaws and proceeded to pull each jaw in opposite directions, ripping through the muscles connecting her jaw and dislocating it. As she wailed in immense pain, I thrust the tightest fist I could make in an uppercut bashing the hanging jaw with the top, knocking out one of her teeth. I picked up the tooth and said, “From whence you came, you shall remain, until you are complete again.” The Earth vibrated under my feet and crumbled underneath the Lach as she plummeted to the center of the Earth, for all eternity. I could hear everyone cheerfully chanting my name, “Heath!” “Heath!” “Heath!” “Heath!” I was perplexed, for they were not chanting my name, but the name of another. Yet I was the one who slay the beast. The chanting grew dim and more concentrated until…

I opened my eyes, only to cry out in fear as Ms. Lach’s face rested upon the backs of her hands on my table, smirking as I woke up from my dream.

“A complete rough draft of your story is due tomorrow,” she teased grinning as she returned to her desk.

“I know exactly what I’m gonna write,” I retorted a grin to match hers.

“Good,” she exclaimed, “we’ll see how it is tomorrow.” She smiled, rubbing the inside of her cheek with her tongue.

“We shall,” I said, “we shall indeed,” a smirk pasted across my face as I left third period on to return in five minutes.

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PJD17 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 30, 2011 at 8:05 pm
interesting story  keep writing  could you please check out and comment on my story Manso's shame  i would really appreciat the feedback
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